Pyewacket (2017)

Pyewacket stars Nicole Munoz as Leah, a teenage girl frustrated at her life after her mother decides to uproot and move out into the countryside. In an act of desperation, Leah summons a demon called Pyewacket to kill her mother, however later has a change of heart. But Pyewacket has already been summoned, and it won’t go away empty handed.

Superbly crafted and dripping with tension, Pyewacket is a slow burner. Time is taken to get to know each of the characters, and to understand Leah’s frustration at being separated from her friends and been taken out of her comfort zone. It also shows that if you do believe in black magic and the occult, then you really shouldn’t take it lightly and should always be careful what you wish for.

Leah and her friends feel like real people, still in that moody teenager phase and treating black magic as a novelty. Leah’s petulant reaction over having to move house also seems like something a typical teenager would do. Nothing ever feels cliche or run of the mill. It’s refreshing to watch a horror movie that is true horror, and treats the audience with respect, rather than resorting to cheap jump scares and the like.

The final third is very impressive, and whilst the horror is stepped up, it never loses its identity and caves to typical horror tropes. The ending will be talked about for a long time. A horror movie that is genuine terror all the way through and teaches you to never mess with things you don’t understand.

4/5

JM

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Halloween III (1982)

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I like the first Halloween movie. What some people don’t seem to understand about this series is that John Carpenter never intended for Michael Myers to be the common denominator. The series was supposed to be a series of ghost stories/urban legends. The first being the babysitter being home alone. However Carpenter never banked on how popular Myers would become with the movie going public. And so the franchise was born, or so folks believed. In an effort to steer the series back to his original vision, Carpenter produced this horror gem about an evil toymaker hell-bent on killing the children of America. He dared to be different and I am so glad he did.

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Tom Atkins plays Dr. Dan Challis who stumbles across the plot to kill the kids using masks that have a something hidden in them that will be activated on October 31st. Dan meets the daughter of a man who was admitted to hospital clutching a mask saying “They’re going to kill us!”. The daughter’s name is Ellie Gimbridge (Stacey Nelkin), she says that her dad ran a shop that was selling masks that had come from a factory called Silver Shamrock. The company is owned by Conal Cochran (Dan O’Herlihy). Cochran is carrying on an ancient Celtic tradition of ritual sacrifice, using the masks to carry out his nefarious plans.

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Dan and Ellie uncover Cochran’s evil plan and work together to try and put a stop to it. Like I said earlier, this is a movie that dared to be different and I think it succeeds. I hate that the Halloween movies focus on Myers as the later movies start to feel like carbon copies of each other. This film on the other hand is a breath of fresh air and is supported by a genuinely scary story where everyone is on top form.

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This is a film I always try to watch at least once a year. It really is great fun and doesn’t lose the scare factor even after repeated viewings. Folks who know cult movies know the brilliance that is Tom Atkins and he is on top form. This is a guy who brings his A game whatever film he’s in. Even in Lethal Weapon which he’s in for no time at all. Dan O’Herlihy is great as Cochran. He basically plays the same gruff character he played in Robocop, but it’s still cool. There is some great gore and hot damn is that Silver Shamrock jingle catchy as hell! Enjoy.

4/5

JM

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